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20 diet-friendly pantry foods

If you want to lose weight, always keep these waistline-whittling foods in your pantry

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Sodium-reduced broth

Sodium-reduced broth

It tastes just as great as the regular broth, but has 25 percent less sodium.

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Meatless Monday: Red Lentil Pasta with Tomato Sauce

Plain pasta sauce

A great all-purpose staple for making spaghetti and pizza. Choose a low-sodium brand.

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tuna can

Canned salmon or tuna

Choose sodium-reduced versions (packed in water where possible).

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olive oil

Canola oil

It should be your choice of cooking oil. It has the lowest saturated fat content of any vegetable oil, and is high in heart-healthy monounsaturated fats.

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green tea

Green tea

It’s calorie-free and filled with antioxidants. Use loose-leaf tea, as it’s more flavourful than bagged. Once open, it should be stored in a dark, dry, airtight container.

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spaghetti

Spaghetti

Enriched whole-grain pasta has more iron, folacin and B vitamins than whole-wheat.

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couscous

Whole-wheat couscous

This is hands-down the fastest-cooking whole-grain food – perfect for a busy night.

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barley

Barley

Like all whole grains, barley is packed with selenium and magnesium. It contains soluble fibre, which helps to lower cholesterol levels, and vitamin E.

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stewed tomatoes

Stewed tomatoes

These turn boring dishes into zestier ones. For example, add stewed tomatoes to a skillet of browned chicken. Throw in some green peas and brown rice.

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beans chickpeas

Canned chickpeas, black beans or kidney beans

They’re a speedy way to add fibre and protein to salads, soups, wraps or stews. Rinse beans first to wash off some of the sodium they’re packed in.

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soy sauce pantry

Low-sodium soy sauce

Punch up the flavour of a stir-fry with this low-sodium sauce.

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olive oil

Extra-virgin olive oil

Containing a high proportion of monounsaturated fat compared to other foods, olive oil is a staple of the healthy Mediterranean-style diet.

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red lentils

Dried red and green lentils

These fibre-rich legumes are full of protein and don’t need to be soaked before cooking. Red lentils turn soft when cooked and are great for thickening soups. Green lentils hold their shape and are perfect for rice pilafs, salads and soups.

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brown rice

Brown rice

A whole grain that has about four times more fibre and magnesium than white rice.

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granola

Low-fat granola cereal

Sprinkle it over yogourt and add diced apple for a nutritious breakfast. When buying, look for brands with less than 3 g of fat per serving.

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1. Quinoa

Quinoa

This whole grain is gluten-free and a complete protein. Make quinoa salads with veggies and nuts.

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bran

High-fibre bran cereal

Bran is one of the best sources of fibre. This makes for a filling breakfast.

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peanut butter banana toast breakfast

Peanut butter

Spread peanut butter on a whole-wheat tortilla, add some banana slices and roll it up.

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oatmeal

Oatmeal

Studies find that people who eat oatmeal on a regular basis are more likely to maintain a stable weight and healthy cholesterol level.

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spices

Herbs and spices

They put the kick in your vegetarian chili and the yum in your omelettes. Use them lavishly to add flavour. And cinnamon, cayenne, cloves, nutmeg, garlic, ginger and so many more boast surprising health benefits.

Related:
15 diet-friendly foods for your fridge
Top 20 flat tummy foods
6 health benefits of spices